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Video: Fees Protests

Compass Youth joined the protests against the huge rises in the costs of attending university and the viscous cuts being undertaken against education funding. These will disproportionately impact on the most marginalised in society, with programmes such as AimHigher and the provision of the EMA to FE students being destroyed.

Video: UK Uncut & corporate tax dodgers

Compass Youth members have been taking part in the UK Uncut campaign against corporate tax avoidance, with several joining the demonstrations highlighting the vast sums of money being avoided by some of Britain’s biggest companies or their owners, amongst them Phillip Green’s Arcadia Group and Vodaphone. Whilst little action is taken against these multi-million pound tax avoiders, the government is slashing public services and targeting fraud at the bottom end of society.

Compass Youth committee members Cat Smith and Ben Soffa joined the demonstrations on Saturday 4th December. This is Ben’s video:

Committee member Luke Pearce has written to the owner of Topshop:

Sir Phillip Green, Head of Arcadia Group

c/o Topshop Oxford Street / Customer Services

Dear Sir Phillip,

Today I have returned some items of clothing I bought from your Topman Oxford Street store a few weeks ago, and have kindly been refunded under the returns policy by your helpful staff. I’m writing to you to let you know why this was necessary and why I feel I must cease to be a customer of your clothing stores.

Yesterday I heard about the sit-in protests, coordinated by ‘UK Uncut’, at shops on Oxford Street belonging to your Arcadia Group. These protests sought to raise awareness of the measures you take to avoid paying tax on the income from your UK business ventures, including the use of your family in the tax haven of Monaco: arrangements which in 2005 alone deprived the UK exchequer of at least £285 million (as reported by the BBC’s Money Programme). This figure is easily enough to save hundreds of libraries earmarked for closure by local councils, or pay the salaries of 10,000 police officers.

You have previously argued that your profitable companies have already paid hundreds of millions of tax in the UK. I agree that your success as an entrepreneur deserves praise and respect, and that you have not broken the letter of the law in your efforts to avoid tax. At the same time, I know that you can appreciate that the success of UK companies depends not only on individuals but on the support of well-funded public services which treat the sick, educate the workforce, keep the peace and help transport goods and staff to work.

I work as a front line manager in the public sector, and am pleased to report to you, as you are the UK government’s efficiency adviser, that my team and the 130 staff we manage have succeeded in saving at least £120,000 of taxpayer’s money so far this financial year (a saving of around 45% from our budget for non-staff costs and overtime). While I support the changes we have made locally, these savings have not been without pain. I’d at least like to be able to say to my staff that the country’s citizens are all in this together, rich and poor.

In an era of financial austerity with huge cuts being made to public spending, it does not seem right that while most of the working population pays 20-40% income tax, you and numerous other wealthy individuals are able to avoid your fair share as defined by democratically elected governments.

I’ve taken a small action today to make a point. But perhaps in light of the pressures on the country’s finances, and while you continue to benefit from its consumers, you could join your fellow citizens in conforming to the spirit of the UK’s tax laws by making a fair contribution to the public services on which our economy and society depend.

Yours sincerely,

Luke Pearce

CWU Rally – Keep the Post Public

Cat Smith, Chair of Compass Youth will be speaking at the CWU rally on Wednesday 15th December, 11am-2pm, in Westminster Central Hall

The Hopemas Party

Philosophy Football’s Christmas party on Friday 17 December.

Why ‘Hopemas’?

The Hopemas Christmas party celebrates the victorious Hope not Hate campaign against the BNP in Barking and is generously supported by the PCS trade union. A superb line-up featuring the briliant poetry of Lemn Sissay. Performing a special version of her hit Edinburgh show ‘Afroblighty’ (on nationwide tour in 2011) the supremely talented comic Andi Osho. Rap mixed with comedy from Doc Brown opens the night. Mixing ideas with the entertaining contributions from Zaiba Malik author of the August R4 book of the week We are a Muslim,Please, Nick Lowles, editor of Searchlight magazine, Owen Hatherley author of the recently published book A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain, PCS National Executive Member Zita Holbourne, and Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty. Plus filling the dancefloor into the early hours, music from the Melstars sound system

Tickets are just £8.99 and each ticket is a £5 OFF voucher on shirts on the night so combine the evening with your Christmas shopping!

At Philosophy Football’s usual party venue The New Red Lion 271 City Road, London EC1V 1LA

Book either at or call 020 8802 3499 to book.

Protest outside London Lib Dem Conference – Saturday 4th December

Compass Youth is supporting the protest outside the Liberal Democrat regional conference because it was Nick Clegg and Vince Cable who conned our generation. They promised they were different and they were on the side of students and young people. They lied, and they wonder
why young people have no faith in politicians? We are now an angry and jilted generation, told if we volunteer for tens of thousands of pounds of debt we will have access to unprecedented opportunities in a globalised economy. The reality is that youth and graduate unemployment is the highest in our living memories. If we are lucky enough to get a job it is often short-term, temporary and poorly paid. When the politicians who claimed they were on our side sold out quicker than Justin Bieber tickets we've every right to be angry!

Protest outside London Lib Dem Conference – Saturday 4th December
Assemble 12noon
Haverstock School, Haverstock Hill, London NW3 2BQ
Nearest tube Chalk Farm
Full details on Facebook